Pasolini’s directorial debut is a powerful neo-realist film about the activities of slum-dwellers in post war Rome. Accatone is a young pimp who lives off the earnings of his young “girl.” When she is imprisoned, he meets the virginal Stella but their attempts to escape the harsh existence of poverty and prostitution prove fruitless in a world of relentless economic and social exploitation. Pasolini used non-professional actors recruited from the Roman slums to play the lead roles, including a young Franco Citti in the role of Accatone. Though firmly influenced by the aesthetics of neo-realism, the film frames the proletariat characters in a fatalistic and stylised milieu which prefigures the radical mannerist cinema Pasolini was to create in the late sixties. On its release “Accatone” was to prove controversial with moralists of both the left and right and was the beginning of Pasolini’s battles with international censors. Bernardo Bertolucci was assistant director on the film. In Italian with English subtitles.
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